Contribution by Alexandra Black
Thirty years after the publication of Peter Mayle’s bestselling memoir A Year in Provence, the sun-drenched southern French region continues to excite home decorators with its combination of rustic charm, elegant details, and historical influences. Provence Style showcases the best of the region, with Shauna Varvel’s quintessential 18th-century Rhône valley farmhouse—Le Mas des Poiriers—as its centerpiece. Named for the working pear orchard on the grounds, the property was reimagined by noted local architect Alexandre Lafourcade, who transformed a rough structure into a luxurious expression of the Provençal aesthetic, referencing historical influences, rural traditions, and Parisian taste.
Set amid a garden of allées, arbors, and terraces designed by the architect’s mother, renowned landscape designer Dominique Lafourcade, this exemplar of Provençal style is the starting point for exploring the region’s characteristic interior details and exterior features. The book includes chapters on the public spaces of the home, from entrances to living rooms, the private realm of bedrooms and bathrooms, and outdoor areas including patios and kitchen gardens, transporting the reader on a captivating stylistic journey.
“When Shauna Varvel and her family bought an 18th-century estate on a 65-acre pear farm on the Rhône River, their lives turned into a romantic fantasy fit for a Hollywood movie.” —New York Post
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